Death is good for the Soul

I had been faithfully saving potato peels and egg shells as well as shredding papers and adding them to the pile. Every once in a while, I would take the picthfork and ‘flip’ the stuff around to get some air in it to keep it working. Until finally.. here I was with a wheelbarrow full of compost! I had put in a lot more than it had produced.. but the dark, rich and fragrant soil was worth all the effort.

I pushed the wheelbarrow out to the flower bed and looked at all the plants. A long narrow strip of gently sloping ground had been more of a battlefiled than a peaceful garden. Clearing out all the weeds, posion ivy and setting up a system to water took time, but eventually, the garden emerged. But dealing with the very sandy natural soil there had been an endless battle.. and the sand was winning. On the good side, sand is easy to dig in. Compared to this rock hard clay I’m dealing with up here in Ohio, it easily gave way to my spade. I’ve actually tried to jump on a shovel here in Ohio, thinking that would break through, and been rudly bounced off to the ground. But that is where the sand’s good points end. Keeping water and nutrients in this type of soil requires work.. and lots of it. 

Any water applied to that sand went right on through and down to China. It sure did not stay in that soil in Texas. I spent more time watering than I care to admint, and still lost plants. But I learned to plant the ones that weren’t so thirsty. I bought bags and bags of mulch to help conserve moisture. But that soil seemed to devour everything I put down and there was little improvement in water retention. Then the sand refused to keep anything nutritional around for the plants. Chemical fertilizers were washed to China in the frequent waterings. So I learned to plant the lean and mean varieties.. no more of the ones that had to have a bountiful meals. saguaro

I became a Master Gardener and learned about compost. That was to be the answer.  I was amazed that this decomposed stuff would improve my soils ability to feed my plants and hold moisture. Creating compost wasn’t an istant process, but the benefits were worth it.

So here I was with my wheelbarrow full of black gold. As I pulled back mulch and began to lay the compost around my plants, I once again heard the Lord talking to me. You see, a recent sermon on dying to self had brought confusion. I didn’t understand how death could bring life. So God showed me that I was much like my garden. Though producing life, that life was thirsty and weak. I had watered in many ways in my life.. and each time it sifted through and left me dry. So I changed to adapt and became a plant that didn’t need the water. But a prickly, slow growing desert beauty was not what I was supposed to be.

So, as I worked in the garden that afternoon, God began showing me that allowing some of the things in my life to die would actually produce life in me. Things like pride, unforgiveness, anger, strife and all the rest of that stuff called sin. Just like my pile of leaves and food scraps, these sins would break down and then end result would be a soil I could grow in. Allowing these things to remain was like trying to live in a desert. And, I was shown that this composting was good for both sandy soils [that held nothing] and clay soild [that held too much of everything]. Death was good for all life.

So now, as I walk this road, and I hit those loose sandy or rock hard clay places in my life.. I quielty ask the Lord for some compost. What is it that needs to die in order for more of life to be produced.

hands_in_compost

Published on January 28, 2009 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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